The First 18 Couplets of Mathnawi

Listen to the reed how it tells a tale complaining of separations-
Saying ‘Ever since I was parted from the reed-bed, my lament hath caused man and woman to moan.
I want a bosom torn by severance, that I may unfold (to such a one) the pain of love-desire.
Everyone who is left far from his source wishes back the time when he was untied with it.
In every company I uttered my wailful notes; I consorted with the unhappy and with them that rejoice.
Everyone became my friend from his own opinion; none sought out my secrets from within me.
My secret is not far from my plaint, but ear and eye lack the light (whereby it should be apprehended).
Body is not veiled from soul, nor soul from body, yet none is permitted to see the soul’
This noise of the reed is fire, it is not wind: whose hath not this fire, may he be naught!
‘Tis the fire of Love that is in the reed, ‘tis the fervour of Love that is in the wine.
The reed is the comrade of every one who has been parted from a friend: its strains pierced our hearts.
Who ever saw a poison and antidote like the reed?Who ever saw a sympathiser and a longing lover like the reed?
The reed tells of the Way full of blood and recounts stories of the passion of Majmin. Only to the senseless is this sense confided: tongue hath no costumer save the ear.
In our woe the days (of life) have become on timely: our days travel hand in hand with burning griefs.
If our days are gone, let them go!  _’tis no matter. Do Thou remain, for none is holy as Thou art!
Whoever is not a fish becomes sated with His water; whoever is without daily bread finds the day long.
None that is raw understands the state of the ripe: therefore my words must be brief. Farewell!